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Are we heroes? No, we are only Marists

 

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Message of the Marists of Aleppo

10/02/2014: Syria

From Syria comes this beautiful text to RCL. It is the Message of the Marists of Aleppo to the Provincial Assembly. People who are in parts of the world where no one wants to be, maintaining hope and offering love and solidarity among those who are suffering. Catholic teachers working so that more than 3 million Syrian children do not become a lost generation. We invite you to read about and pray for their work…and their lives.

“Peace and hope from Aleppo… We would like to be present among you at the Provincial Assembly… You have invited us to take part by means of Skype or Webex, but this has not been easy. Thanks to Pascal and Edouard who have transmitted very well our sentiments and our supplications through the prayer they prepared.

We do not wish the Assembly to finish without sending all a message of gratitude. Above all, to be Marist in Syria today is to carry with one a whole province and in reality the whole Marist world and all its charism. We can assure you that more than ever our presence as Marists is more than topical. First of all, for the theme of trust in God and the Good Mother. We cannot the times when the Lord and the good Mother have supported us, have helped us to bear such a difficult situation and guided us in the reflection and the decisions we have to take… The strength of the support we have received from Br Emili Turú, Br Antonio Giménez and all the brothers and laity of the world has helped us overcome despair in extremely difficult times.

Here we live being Marist, laity and brothers together… Our vocation has been opened to Moslem lay people who share with us the missions of education and aid… This is an unforgettable experience… What we are developing responds to the call of the last General Chapter and Pope Francis… new horizons… staying on the frontiers.

Every day we hear this phrase… “Thanks because you are different…” and we ask ourselves how we are different… We are so by our way of being and helping and educating… We live it as Marists… When more than 3 million Syrian children need education, if they are not to become a lost generation, we Marists are committed to contributing a response which comes from our tradition and our charism… When more than half the population of Syria lives without aid, we Marists are committed to providing milk, food, clothing, medicines, hospitalization, accomodation and all the other services most needed… Your support, your prayers, your financial assistance and the help of so many friends and former students mean that the Project can be realized. More than 500 Christian and Moslem families make complete use of the whole program (educational and supportive)…

The house is open… Moslem girls are living in the house… They need to sit university exams for a month and they cannot cross the passage between the two parts of the divided city every day… In our house they are welcome… Children and young people, Moslem and Christian, receive quality education… Women and youth take part in development activities… The house is open… Many of the activities of other organizations take place in our house… The latest to ask to have a training session using our rooms is the   “Syrian Red Crescent”… It is a point of honour for the Marists of the world. Without any doubt, we experience every day the horror of the war… We mourn young people we have welcomed in the house and who have died… We hear with much sorrow of the suffering of people who have been hit by some bullet or bomb…

Horror, fear, mourning are our daily bread… We cannot hide from you that there are days when we lose expectation but not hope… There are days we pass without light, without water, with many bombs… days of cold and death… but the house of Marcellin and Mary remains a house of welcome for the most needy… for those who need to take a bath, or wash their clothes or have a hot meal or only spend a night… Are we heroes? No, we are only Marists… and we feel, with you, we belong to a great family… We are sowing seeds… God grant that what we sow may be seeds of peace… We are sowing an education for peace, we are sowing a witness of peace, we are sowing a commitment to peace…

We have chosen to remain, as community, as laity… Many families and young people have left the country… It is a terrible moment when a family or a young person comes to say goodbye to us… I am going or we are going tomorrow, to somewhere outside, far off, unknown many times… We have chosen to stay to serve and to educate… From Aleppo, once again, thanks, thanks and thanks… We need your prayers… Your love is a gift from Heaven for us… You are in our hearts as we know very well that we are in yours… Together we continue on the way mapped out for us by Marcellin…. SALAM”

Br Georges

(Reporte Católico Laico: http://www.aleteia.org)

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